• Tag Archives Tully
  • Seasonal Pilgrimage

    Fall                                           Waning Harvest Moon

    Each turn of the Celtic seasonal calendar I find ideas, personal reflections, astronomical or traditional lore to pass along.

    This time I’ll pass along one from Waverly Fitzgerald who maintains a website, living in season.

    She suggests a seasonal pilgrimage, a visit each turn of the year to a place that, for you, embodies the energies and essence of the new season.  This recommendation struck me because I have a place myself, next to the Carlos Avery Wildlife Refuge, the Bootlake Scientific and Natural Area.

    To get to my sacred area I walk back through a field, it formerly held a house, now gone, traverse a crescent of young oak and birch to emerge in a circular meadow filled with furze.  Across the furze and to the northwest is a path back into the woods, not long, that takes me to a parcel of land between a pond on the south and the marshy edge of Bootlake on the north.

    On this land between the waters stands an old growth white pine, a white pine with a crooked top, probably the main trunk broke off in a storm or lightning strike and a secondary branch took over, but at an angle from the main.  My guess is that this deformity allowed the old giant to survive the woodsman’s axe.

    In a ring around this older tree are its offspring, a small grove of younger white pines who now stand sentinel around their older parent, a conversation now lasting at least a hundred years of more.

    A portion of Tully’s ashes came with me one day.  I scattered them around the base of the tree, then sat down with my back to its trunk, snugged in between two great roots while I gave thanks for this Irish Wolfhound who had taken a special place in my heart.

    At other times, often on New Year’s Day, I have visited this sacred grove, the air often below zero, snow crunching, black crows watching me from high atop leafless oak.

    This small place, away from the city and the suburbs, a place intact, has been a refuge for me for over twenty years.  I visit it still, though less in the last few years.  It’s time to return.



  • Ripped Apart

    Beltane                                                                    Waxing Garlic Moon

    Pentheus gets ripped apart by his mother and her fellow Bacchantes.  The Guthrie’s production of The Bacchantes by Euripides several years ago gave the story a telling I’ve never forgotten.  It gave me a jolt.  I’ve moved on from Diana and Actaeon in Ovid to Pentheus.  His story begins about 250 verses further on in Book III of the Metamorphosis.  I’m not far into it, only about 12 verses, but already Pentheus’ fate has been foreshadowed by the great seer, Teresias.

    My tutor says I’ve learned to spot and translate the verbs, a key first move, but I still have trouble picking out the subjects of the sentences. That’s what I have to work on for next week.

    (Pentheus and his mom Pompeii. Romersk ca. 70 e. Kr. (Royal Cast Collection, Copenhagen)

    Speaking of getting ripped apart, I came home from a lunch with Justin Fay, the Sierra Club’s lobbyist, to find Kate gone.  She had taken Gertie, our son and his wife’s dog, to the vet.  Yet another scrap broke out and this time Gertie ended up with seven spots that needed stitches.  The end result of this was, of course, a hefty vet bill and a hurried consultation between Denver and Andover over Gertie’s fate.

    We resolved it this way.  Gertie has become a liability at Jon and Jen’s, growling at Gabe, 3 years old, nipping four neighbors and going after the postman, not to mention climbing the fence to get out.  So.  What to do?  I really like Gertie; she has a big personality, a bouncy vital way, but she is a mischief maker, a trickster.  Gertie will stay here with us and we’ll figure out how to manage our pack without any one getting hurt.  We’ve had to do it before when one of our Irish Wolfhound’s, Tully, decided that our Whippets were prey.

    First step is to get Sollie back to Denver so we can reduce the number of dogs.  After that we’ll probably try letting Gertie and the big girls out again, hoping that the changed dynamics will have resolved.  If we have another spat, we’ll have to go to some management strategy, maybe a dog run outside, or having Gertie and one big dog at a time out.

    We have Mark here now and Gertie will stay.  We’ve become a hostel.